Christine Stuart photo

Just a few weeks after state Comptroller Nancy Wyman predicted the state would end the year with a $624 million deficit, the legislature’s Office of Fiscal Analysis and the Office of Policy and Management agreed Monday that the budget deficit at the end of 2010 will be $385.9 million.

Following the Bioscience Business Roundtable Monday hosted by the University of Connecticut’s Department of Public Policy, Gov. M. Jodi Rell said the consensus revenue estimates continue to show a decline primarily in the area of sales tax receipts.

However, Rell said the decline in sales tax revenue is not just a Connecticut trend. She said this is what’s happening nationally as people try to pay of their debt and continue to worry about their jobs.

According to numbers released Monday by the Office of Fiscal Analysis sales tax revenue is down $89.8 million, Indian gaming revenue is down $13.1 million, and the state has paid out $25 million more in tax refunds than anticipated.

Sales tax is expected to continue to decline $67.1 million in 2011 and Indian gaming will dip $38.4 million. And again in 2011 the state expects to pay $25 million more in tax refunds based on data collected through the end of October that shows higher than anticipated personal income tax refunds.

Click here to read the 39-page consensus revenue estimates report.

Rell said Monday that she is still working on her budget deficit mitigation plan and will be meeting with her budget director on Wednesday to go over some of the numbers.

“This can not be the same old, same old as it was last year,” Rell said. “Legislators have to be much more cognizant of the fact that they cannot cherry pick what they want. We’re going to have to make some tough, tough decisions.”

“I know they’re not going to like them, but we have no choice,”  Rell said. She said she’d like to have the mitigation plan done by next week, but she doesn’t know considering the Thanksgiving Day holiday if she’ll have it out by then. By law the mitigation plan is due by Dec. 1.